Life in Berkeley, California

Berkeley Reviews California Message Board
Are you thinking of moving or relocating to Berkeley, California? Would you like to know what the quality of life is like living in Berkeley?
Bahar reports in this review:
WeatherHow much crime?What are the neighborhoods like?What are the people like?
Berkeley, CA has East Bay weather - meaning it is not as gray as San Francisco (though more gray than L.A.) and it can get chilly (even sometimes during the summer) but it also boasts beautiful sunny days. It does rain (though again, not as much as SF) and the rain is generally from the end of fall through the winter and perhaps early spring. CA is known for its earthquakes so that is the major natural disaster residents of Berkeley face, rather than mud slides or snowstorms. When it is sunny and clear, Berkeley is stunning. The air is crisp because, I believe, of the proximity to the water.Like any other area, there is crime in the city of Berkeley, from theft to bodily offenses, but I personally have not been told about a specific experience that someone had - nor have I personally experienced crime in Berkeley.The neighborhoods in Berkeley range from homes in the Berkeley hills (which are very expensive and luxurious seeming, nestled along the winding roads through the hills) to the apartments housing students at the University to wood paneled homes near San Pablo Avenue and by the Ashby BART. The area near UC Berkeley, besides dorms, has frat houses, apartment buildings, and further up are the homes where professionals and those who can afford the expensive price tag of real estate can afford to live. The area around San Pablo Park in Berkeley, San Pablo Avenue and Ashby, is more middle class than the university area - and more families. Berkeley is not entirely homogenous, but it lacks the diversity of Long Beach, CA or Brooklyn, NY.Berkeley is known for its lefty roots and while it has changed over the years, it is still a progressive city compared to the rest of the United States. Most people, young or old, will fit into Berkeley. Those with leftist views will likely find like minded people in Berkeley. However, there are conservatives in Berkeley as well, yet extremist conservatives - such as those on the far right - will likely not find that they fit in.
Downtown AreaRestaurantsSchoolsSingle life
Downtown Berkeley is quaint. It is small, filled with mostly restaurants but includes other shops, and has side streets with a theater, the YMCA, and other venues and business spaces. The train system in the Bay Area - BART - goes to downtown Berkeley. It is hard to find parking.There are so many to choose from, but top choices are Guerilla Cafe (they get their ingredients fresh from the farmers market), Chez Pannisse, and Cheese Board Pizza.Berkeley high school is known for its high quality education and extra curricular activities. Berkeley public schools are not necessarily Exeter but they are - from speaking with people - places where quality education happens. UC Berkeley of course, is fantastic for education.Berkeley has a nightlife and social scene but the downtown area is small so the singles who have the most opportunity are those who are students at the University.
Noisetown comparison vs.Tourist attractionsGeneral comments
There is no particularly unusual noise endemic to the City of Berkeley, however, it is accessible by freeway so if you live on the freeway there will be noise. Also, the area by the University - near the Greek houses- can get loud on some nights.Compared to Emeryville, Berkeley is bigger and has more options for dining and shopping and schools - and so it is a better place to live. Also, Berkeley has more character as it seems to have older homes. Compared to San Francisco, Berkeley is a better place to live because the rent in SF is very high - if not the highest in the nation. Also, San Fran which is just across the Bay, has cloudier days and more chilly weather. Berkeley can get chilly too, but it seems to draw more sun than its cloudy sister across the water.The nicest places include waling around the University, the Marine, and downtown Berkeley.Berkeley feels like intellectuals, college students, foodies, and expensive places to eat. It feels like a cool morning walk around the marina and a heart pounding hike up the Berkeley Hills, or a jog through Tilden park. It feels like friends laughing and strolling along the downtown area, popping into Jupiter's for a drink or picking up gourmet pizza or some mouth watering Thai food. It is drivable and walkable.
Berkeley, California population: 112580

How many black people live in Berkeley? How many white people?
Number of White People66996Percentage of White people59.5%
Number of Black People13317Percentage of Black people11.8%
Number of Hispanic People13466Percentage of Hispanic people12%
Number of Asian People26284Percentage of Asian people23.3%
Number of American Indian People1836Percentage of American Indian people1.6%

Note: Numbers may add up to >100% because some people are more than one race.

Berkeley, California

Percent college grads: 68.2%
Percent grad school grads: 37.1%
Unemployment rate: 6.7
Median house value: 731100
Median income: 58617

How many singles in Berkeley?

Single men ages 20-34Single women ages 20-34Ratio of single men to women age
15479142301.09men for each woman
Single men ages 35-44Single women ages 35-44Ratio of single men to women age
332727941.19men for each woman
Single men ages 45-54Single women ages 45-54Ratio of single men to women age
283131010.91men for each woman

Crimes in Berkeley, California
CrimesAbsolute numbersAverage percentage chance of being a victim in
by typeof crimesOne YearFive Years
Aggr. Assault1400%1%
Auto Theft6151%3%

Weather History for Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California Basic Temperatue and Weather (30 year averages)
MonthNumber of Days below zero (degrees)Number of Days 0-20's (degrees)Number of Days 20's (degrees)Number of Days 30's (degrees)Number of Days 40's (degrees)Number of Days 50's (degrees)Number of Days 60's (degrees)Number of Days 70's (degrees)Number of Days 80's (degrees)Number of Days 90's+ (degrees)
Average year000006014316300
How many days and how much precipitation and snow for Berkeley, California?

Number of days of rain
(.1 inch or greater)
total rainfallNumber of days of snow
(.5 inch or greater)
Total snowfall
Average year462600
Realistic temperatures, taking into account precipitation, amount of sunlight during the day, winds during the day, and humidity during hot days.

MonthNumber of Days below zero (degrees)Number of Days 0-20's (degrees)Number of Days 20's (degrees)Number of Days 30's (degrees)Number of Days 40's (degrees)Number of Days 50's (degrees)Number of Days 60's (degrees)Number of Days 70's (degrees)Number of Days 80's (degrees)Number of Days 90's+ (degrees)
Average year0000821598139031

How many hot humid days a year does Berkeley, California have?
How many cloudy days a year does Berkeley, California have?
How many sunny days a year does Berkeley, California have? How sunny is it?
How many windy days a year does Berkeley, California have? How windy is it?
See below for the answers!
MonthNumber of hot, humid daysNumber of very windy daysNumber of windy daysNumber of somewhat windy daysNumber of calm daysNumber of clear daysNumber of moderately cloudly daysNumber of somewhat cloudy daysNumber of very cloudy days
Average year0210421130162468176

(Note: Humidity, wind, and cloudcover information is based on (a) 30 year averages and in many cases (b) a large nearby weather station. If you're in an area with a lot of "micro climates" actual conditions may vary.)

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Sources of information: Census, FBI Crime Statistics, NOAA
Disclaimer: The information presented here are for the general population, assume the same rate of crime in the future, and an evenly distributed amount of crime throughout the city in question. They are not meant to accurately predict whether one person in particular will be a victim of crime. Percentages are based on the population of the city/town in question, except for burglaries, which are based on the number of households.